“Corinth Classroom captures the attention of young students, to [help them] be enthusiastic about the world around them, learn more efficiently, and find their passion for learning.” – Martin Bukáček, Czech Republic
Since we began the Daily Edventures journey in 2012, we’ve checked in with Corinth a number of times (read our interview with CEO Ondrej Homola here). The Czech-based start-up with an office in San Francisco has been making waves in the e-learning world for more than five years now, collaborating with K-12 schools, universities, museums and even NASA.
Corinth continues to blaze new trails using the power of 3-D to advance learning with Corinth Classroom, a next generation teaching aid for Windows 8. This innovative learning tool connects 3-D visual technologies with the productivity tools that teachers work with every day – like MS Office. With a content library spanning topics ranging from anatomy, biology and geology, to other topics to be soon released, such as technological innovations and cultural artifacts, Corinth Classroom contains hundreds of learning objects and is quickly expanding.
At our recent Microsoft in Education Global Forum in Miami, the company’s Martin Bukáček demonstrated how Corinth Classroom integrates with Microsoft productivity tools like Office 365 to help teachers bring the world of science to life for their students.
Bukáček and his colleagues solicited feedback from teachers around the globe to create Corinth Classroom, and the tool reflects that thoughtful input. In today’s Daily Edventure, he tells us how Corinth Classroom “captures the attention of young students to [help them] be enthusiastic about the world around them, learn more efficiently, and find their passion for learning.”
Please tell us the story of what inspired you to become involved in education. Can you think of a particular moment in your life when you realized education was the right field for you? Was there a person in your life (teacher, relative, etc.) who inspired you?
I guess it was the first moment when I fully realized that achieving knowledge is mainly fueled by excitement and that understanding depends on our ability to transform the knowledge into our own language. I did not used to be the best math learner at high school. I was actually quite struggling. But later on as a keen student of language and communication, I realized that for instance math is just a way of telling stories about the world around us, with use of certain sign system and grammar. What’s crucial about transforming such a knowledge is being able to translate basic rules of the game (= grammar) to students so they get involved in the game… at least to a basic level. You won’t get excited about a game where you don’t understand rules.
Teachers are so important because they should be able to translate the rules and languages to get kids excited about the world around them. I would love to help them… and I join them in their challenge every day. When I’m excited about something, I spread the excitement very easily 🙂
What was a defining moment in your career when you felt proudest to be involved in education? How did you feel at the time? What was the impact on students, peers, and/or your community (share specific results if possible)?
Anytime I travel to meet educators for some exciting collaborations. But the first moment I guess was more than year ago, during times when our team was developing the concept of Corinth Classroom. Researching, developing ideas and sharing imagination to build a tool that creates so much passion for learning and teaching.
Today, working with educators and their learners worldwide, to hear all the “wows” when they hold 3D objects from the world around in their own hands… reminds me that we have created something that brings a lot of power for them.
Why do you feel passionate about innovation and technology in the classroom? Can you share a particular instance in which technology helped transform the work of your students (share specific project descriptions and results if possible)?
An engaged classroom is very powerful. I believe that technology is bringing a lot of enthusiasm into classrooms, as well as connected education experience globally. To be able to run a learning project with a classroom on the other side of the globe, or to see things we could not see before, is of course an exciting thing. But we should keep on mind that technology should be just means of innovation, not the end point. Our touch screen visualization should not be here to replace teachers. It should help them to connect information in context and make students interact with what they learn about… and with each other.
So I feel very excited about different Corinth Classroom learning projects I keep running across the globe. When kids create and retell stories about different biological phenomena to younger pupils, using Corinth Classroom 3D objects libraries as a source of discoveries, but also imagination. They can write their own textbooks and get a deeper experience and comprehension of the subject matter, not just memorizing it.
Whether it’s a day-to-day challenge or larger problem, what’s the biggest obstacle you or your country or region has had to overcome, or will have to overcome, to ensure a quality education for students?
Czech education system has been too much and too long based on memorizing of subject matter, rather than experiencing it or stimulating students’ own interest. I believe now teachers’ role needs to change in order to help students use new information in mutual interconnections and across disciplines. And of course, to help them find their passion for learning with which they struggle with a lot.
However, I believe that teachers need to get more recognition and respect for their work in order for these changes to happen. They deserve more. What a paradox in a culture which has been so much respectful for educators throughout its history.
In terms of education innovation, what are you most excited about for the future? What is your biggest hope for today’s students?
In reference to the previous answer, I hope we are giving power to teachers to be able to get students excited to discover more and that we are also aiming to help them raise their voice. To be able to do so better, we are preparing an online community where they can share their Corinth Classroom experience, get the lesson resources for use of the tool and participate in creating more Corinth Classroom content. Get ready and soon in touch! 🙂
And check out a video Martin made of Corinth’s journey at the Miami Global Forum below!
Martin Bukacek, Public Engagement / Community Manager
Brno, Czech Republic
- Blog URL: www.ecorinth.com
- Birthplace: Planá u Marianskych Lazni, Czech Republic
- Educational background: Sociology, Communication Studies, many different non-profit community projects
- Website I check every day: Edutopia, The Guardian
- Favorite childhood memory: During primary, me and my friends spent a lot of time in forests. We built up a project called the “Republica”: a huge garden in forest, demarcated by a stone wall, with plenty of interweaving footpaths leading to different sections and a plenty of space around to explore. Since then till now, mostly as an organizer of culture events, I have been trying to bring this concept of “extended living room” or “little-infinitive garden” to life repeatedly – an open space to share with others… to learn, to dance, make music or cultivate different creative activities, to chill out. Back in the time, we kept the “Republic” diary at a secret spot. It contained a lot of imaginary stories completing our mental map of the magical place. I wish I could find the book.
- Favorite book: Dune (Frank Herbert)
- Favorite Microsoft product, tool, technology: OneNote, Photosynth
- What is the best advice you have ever received? I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. (…) Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain. (Frank Herbert, Dune)